How Kenneth Branagh Made Jamie Dornan’s ‘Belfast’ Experience Extraordinary

Jamie Dornan (left) stars as “Pa” and Jude Hill (right) stars as “Buddy” in director Kenneth Branagh’s BELFAST, a Focus Features release. Credit : Rob Youngson / Focus Features

Each of Kenneth Branagh’s five Oscar nominations has come in a different category; along with his acting skills, he’s proven himself equally adept as a producer, writer, and director. He’s been directing features ever since his 1989 adaptation of Henry V, which earned him nominations for Best Actor and Best Director, and he’s gone on to direct a wide range of films since then, including four Shakespeare adaptations, two live-action Disney films, and even Marvel’s Thor. He’s also got a lengthy résumé as an actor, encompassing roles in film, television, and the stage. When Jamie Dornan signed on to star in Belfast, a movie written and directed by Branagh, he was excited at the opportunity to work with somebody who was so well-versed on both sides of the camera. Dornan told us that he was especially impressed by the way Branagh worked closely with the film’s actors to film scenes in ways that played to the actors’ strengths. (Click on the media bar below to hear Jamie Dornan)

Belfast is now playing in theaters.

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